Sponsor Insights

EDC in Las Vegas Highlights Sponsorship Opps

As the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC)–the largest electronic dance festival in North America–heads to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway tomorrow (5/19-21), let’s take a closer look at this colorful, action-packed market. 

MGM Resorts International and Toyota top the list of most active brands in Las Vegas–the 40th largest market in the U.S. by population–with 10 deals each, while Las Vegas Tourism (Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority) and the Las Vegas Review Journal tie for second with 9 sponsorships. Coca-Cola, Cox Communications, AXS, and Desert Radiology all take the third spot with 7 deals. Notably, all brands in the top 1,2,3 spots sponsor the Vegas Golden Knights, and all but Toyota and AXS partner with the Las Vegas Raiders. Brands, take note: both the Knights and the Raiders are currently without a partner in the Coffee, Mattress & Bedding, and On-Demand Delivery categories.   

Speaking of, the Knights boast the most sponsors in the market with a whopping 150+ partnerships, followed by the Raiders and SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl, both with just over 100 sponsorship deals each. Shriners Children’s Open, Las Vegas Aviators, Oracle CloudWorld, Henderson Silver Knights, Las Vegas Lights FC, UNLV Rebels, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway round out the list of most active properties in America’s gambling capital.

With 7.9M followers and branded engagement of 1.7M, the Raiders offer the largest social media opportunity for brands, while the Latin Grammys take second place with 6.8M followers. Shareef O’Neal–son of Shaquille O’Neal and a player for the NBA G League Ignite, based in Henderson, Nevada–claims the third spot on the podium with a following of 4.9M.

EDC Las Vegas lands in fourth with 4.1M followers. The EDM festival powerhouse inked over 15 sponsorship deals last year with brands including Corona USA, Uber, Tinder, and Verizon, and engaged 255K followers with 78 posts in the last 12 months.

The Las Vegas market (defined as all properties based there) garnered a total engagement of 5.5M across 15K unique posts. An Instagram post by former Las Vegas Aces player Elizabeth Cambage, in a paid partnership with Savage X Fenty, outperformed them all, engaging 133K followers. 

Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four

Basketball fans around Europe are eagerly anticipating the upcoming EuroLeague Final Four 2023, set to take place at Zalgirio Arena in Kaunas, Lithuania May 19th – May 21st. With its impressive capacity of 15,500 attendees, the arena will be buzzing with excitement as the stage is set for the continent’s most prestigious basketball competition. 

Last year’s champion, Anadolu Efes, won’t be defending their title this time around, but three formidable teams have qualified for the Final Four again: Real Madrid (15 sponsors), FC Barcelona (8 sponsors), and Olympiacos (22 sponsors). Real Madrid, with their rich basketball history, leads the pack with an impressive record of 10 EuroLeague titles. Olympiacos follows closely with three championships, while FC Barcelona has secured the title twice. Making their first appearance in the final round, AS Monaco Basket (21 sponsors) is eager to make a mark in this prestigious tournament. 

The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague holds a special place in European basketball, with 19 teams from 10 different countries competing in the tournament. Turkish Airlines has been the exclusive title sponsor of the EuroLeague since 2010, adding prestige and support to this premier event. The tournament also boasts its own brand and logo for the semi-finals and finals, creating an attractive platform for sponsors to secure their place in the final stage. 

The EuroLeague also has regional sponsors who bring their support to specific countries. Brands like Bwin gain exposure in games played in Greece, while Domino’s Pizza and Nesine take center stage in Turkey. MaxBet makes its mark in Serbia, and Betano captures attention in Germany. Furthermore, Spalding, a key sponsor, plays an important role by providing the official balls and basket stanchion units for the games. 

The EuroLeague Final Four 2023 promises to be a basketball extravaganza with a rich history, prestigious teams, and the support of sponsors like Turkish Airlines and regional brands, the tournament showcases the pinnacle of European basketball talent. As fans eagerly await the semi-final matchups and the crowning of the next EuroLeague champion, the sport’s global community will come together to celebrate the essence of the game. Get ready for an unforgettable display of skill, passion, and competition in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four.

Pharma Category Report

The Pharma & Over the Counter category has more than 730 active brands buying sponsorship or media, averaging 1 sponsorship deals per property and 2 deals per brand. Television ads were the category’s most frequently bought assets over the last year, with property entitlements, social posts, digital content, and radio ads completing the top 5 in that order.

Pharma giant Pfizer reigns supreme among active brands with 37 sponsorships–the Brooklyn Nets and LA Galaxy among them–leading biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences takes second with 22 deals. Australian brand Chemist Warehouse secured third with 21 deals, followed by Mucinex, Keeps, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Biofreeze, Bayer, and Novo Nordisk comprising the remaining top 10. 

Intriguingly, the category saw incredible total engagement of more than 11M across 6K+ unique posts in the last 12 months. The most successful post and social campaign, by influencer TooTurntTony with BlueChew, engaged more than 700K followers and 1.8M with 5 posts, respectively. The #2 social campaign, between Brazilian sports club SC Corinthians and Neo Quimica, racked up 878K engagements across a staggering 266 posts.

Global Expansion: A Layup for the WNBA

Fueled by its record-breaking 2022 season–its most-watched in 14 years–the WNBA has set its sights on global expansion to grow its reach and audience. As a preview to its 2023 season tip off on May 19th, the league made history last weekend with its first-ever international game at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena in Canada. Presented by Tangerine Bank, the milestone matchup garnered significant support from over 15 sponsoring brands, including notable names like RE/MAX, Air Canada, and Bell Media with the most assets.

This groundbreaking game both showcased the league’s commitment to conquering new frontiers, and highlighted the burgeoning partnerships between brands and the WNBA. Case in point: the multiyear deal the league struck in 2021 with Amazon, granting it exclusive global streaming rights for the league, including regular season games and the Commissioner’s Cup on Prime Video. The partnership marked the first time Amazon secured streaming rights in pro basketball. 

With a sold-out crowd in attendance, the Canadian game was a resounding success–reminding fans exactly why the league grew its viewership by a remarkable 19% last year. The WNBA’s surge in popularity has also translated into substantial business opportunities for its athletes, with SponsorUnited tracking an astounding 1,000% increase in deals between brands and players since 2019.

As the trailblazing league keeps scoring slam dunks on and off the court and growing its fan base in tandem, more influential brands will no doubt come calling–joining top-tier sponsors like Coinbase, Google, State Farm, AT&T, Starry, and Doordash, all of which made their presence known within the WNBA in 2022. 

One deal already making headlines this year: late last month, the league announced a multiyear agreement with the E.W. Scripps Company to televise Friday night games during the regular season on ION, an entertainment network that reaches every U.S. TV over-the-air and on all major pay TV services. With the deal, the WNBA becomes the first sports property to air on ION.

Media Report 2022-23


In today’s constantly advancing digital landscape, the transformation of media assets in the world of professional sports has never been more apparent. Global sports fans now stream live sports through digital platforms, while sports viewership has become a multi-screen experience, with nearly half of sports watchers simultaneously interacting with other live content. Against this backdrop, savvy brands are embracing digital media more than ever to optimize their reach and grow their bottom line.

In women’s sports, a whopping 61% of deals now include a digital component, and brands like Google are seizing the slew of opportunities presented by female athletes’ snowballing momentum.

On the social media front, tennis athletes’ impressive ability to engage fans and cultivate loyal followers offers marketers a valuable and arguably overlooked chance to connect with new audiences. Speaking of unrealized opportunities, YouTube has emerged as a curiously underused asset: less than 50% of pro sports teams currently have an integrated YouTube sponsor – underscoring the tremendous potential it presents to brands to stake a claim in the digital world.

As the soaring popularity of esports continues unabated, video game sponsorships are multiplying, as a growing number of brands opt exclusively for in-game virtual signage over assets in brick-and-mortar venues.

And as AI and machine learning enable more precise targeting and understanding of individual preferences, their impact on sports marketing can’t be overestimated – and will compel brands to forge deeper connections with fans through personalized content and hyper-tailored experiences in an increasingly competitive media landscape.

For all these reasons and more, we’re excited to unveil our the Power of Media in Sports Sponsorships Report. Authored jointly by SponsorUnited’s Marketing, Analytics, and Business Intelligence teams, it delivers an in-depth analysis of more than 15,500 brands, 1,400 athletes, and 1,100 properties between leagues, teams, athletes, and brands from April 1, 2022, through April 1, 2023.

Tequila Brands Take Center Stage on Cinco de Mayo

In honor of Cinco de Mayo–the annual festive celebration of Mexican culture–let’s take a quick look at tequila, arguably Meixco’s favorite export. 

More than 110 active brands bought sponsorships or media in the Tequila subcategory over the last 12 months, with each brand averaging 5 sponsorship deals.

Patrón was the most active brand with more than 45 sponsorships, among them properties like F1 driver Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez, the Miami Heat, Buffalo Bills, and Florida Panthers. Hornitos claims the 2nd spot with nearly 40 deals, while Don Julio ranks 3rd with more than 35. Jose Cuervo, Casamigos, Maestro Dobel, Mamitas, 1800 Tequila, el Jimador, and Herradura round out the top 10.

Digital content and social media are tied atop the list of most frequently bought sponsorship assets by Tequila brands, followed by venue products and services, interior signage and concourse signage, in that order. 

The Tequila subcategory saw an incredible 81M in total engagement in the last year with more than 2K unique posts, led by a co-branded Instagram post by Kendall Jenner and 818 Tequila, which engaged a whopping 7.3M users. The partnership’s social campaign also scored the highest engagement among tequila brands, with 29.9M across just 9 posts. Meanwhile, a social campaign between Teremana Tequila and Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson ranked second, with 36 posts that engaged 24.1M.

Motorsports Report 2022-23


Without a doubt, the hotly anticipated Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix 2023 on May 5-7 will fuel the flames of F1 fever spreading worldwide, and spotlight the dynamism of the entire motorsports industry. As millions of F1 fans gear up for the big event, the sport’s breathtaking momentum seems virtually unstoppable, especially stateside. Last year’s season became the first in U.S. television history to average 1 million or more viewers per race, while the inaugural Miami Grand Prix 2022 was the most-viewed live F1 telecast ever in America, attracting a record 2.6 million average viewers.

F1 isn’t alone in its dazzling ascent: demand for motorsports is growing globally, thanks to the burgeoning appeal of racing events everywhere–led by F1, NASCAR, IndyCar, and MotoGP–as well as expanding viewership and rising popularity among younger audiences. These factors are fueling investment, as motorsports innovate and adapt to the evolving preferences of fans and sponsors alike.

Sponsors are racing to grab a piece of the action. Motorsport athletes inked deals with 84% more brands last year than in 2021–a sure sign that their marketability as top-tier pro athletes is soaring with their global profiles. Sponsorship deals in F1, IndyCar, and NASCAR rose 26%, 13%, and 8% last year, respectively, while MotoGP partnerships grew a whopping 32%.

Against this thriving backdrop, emerging opportunities abound for brands keen to stake a claim in this high-octane industry. F1’s and NASCAR’s commitments to net-zero operating emissions by 2030 and 2035, respectively–along with growth of all-electric racing series, Formula E–are paving the way for green-minded brands across industries to forge high-impact, eco-driven sponsorships. Meanwhile, the 55% rise in sponsorships of emerging North American motorsports (dirt bike and sports car racing among them) underscores fans’ appetite for new circuits, and opens the door for enterprising brands to partner with alternative properties on the ground floor.

As motorsports around the globe shift into overdrive, we’re excited to unveil our 2022-2023 Motorsports Marketing Report. Authored jointly by SponsorUnited’s Marketing Research & Insights, Analytics and Marketing teams, it delivers an in-depth analysis of more than 4,200 brands, 200 athletes, and 2,900 social posts between teams and drivers, from November, 2021, through April, 2023.

April’s Most Searched Brands Have Arrived!

With spring in full swing and summer on the horizon, let’s take a look at the brands that were most searched by sponsorship executives on our platform in April. 

Frontdoor, a newly launched, one-stop app for home repair and maintenance, took the top spot last month. As presenting sponsor for MLB Opening Week, the brand launched a national advertising campaign across all U.S.-based regional sports networks (RSN) in early April, featuring Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. using the app to address his home repair dilemmas.

In the 2nd spot is RTIC Coolers, a rotomolded cooler brand that became “The Official Cooler” and “The Official Drinkware of NASCAR” in a multiyear deal announced on April 6, when the company also debuted officially licensed NASCAR coolers and drinkware on its website. The Houston, TX-based brand boasts more than 20 endorsement deals–7 of which are within U.S. motorsports–and also serves as the Official Drinkware and Cooler Provider of Major League Rugby.

Caktus, an AI-powered education platform, lands at #5 on the list, after inking an endorsement deal in mid-April with LSU basketball superstar Angel Reese, who has more NIL deals (19) than any other college basketball player. The company is banking big on the NIL space, having previously partnered with LSU gymnast Livvy Dunne, former Miami Hurricanes basketball standouts the Cavinder Twins (who joined forces with Jake Paul’s BETR Gambling last month), and San Diego State‘s basketball player Matt Bradley.

Kaseya takes 6th place, having made headlines with the April 4 announcement that the software company had struck a $117 million, 17-year naming rights deal with the Miami Heat to rename the team’s arena the Kaseya Center. The deal–which follows FTX’s inglorious exit from the stadium in January, thanks to the crypto meltdown–marks the first time a Miami-based company has partnered with the venue for naming rights, and the fourth name for the arena since its 1998 opening. Kaseya also became the team’s Official IT Solutions Partner as part of the agreement. 

Enterprise software brand Sprinklr, which signed a three-year extension with the Alpine F1 Team on April 11, earned the #10 spot. The company, which first partnered with the French team in March ‘22, will remain an official partner and customer experience management platform provider of Alpine F1. The team will leverage all four Sprinklr product suites as part of its strategy to maximize engagement with its loyal fanbase, and the brand will provide AI-powered listening and fan engagement on more than 30 digital and social channels. 

Check out the rest of April’s list in the following graphic:

As CBD’s Popularity Grows, Will Other Leagues Follow MLB?

While CBD products become increasingly popular around the world, the CBD category is also steadily on the rise: the number of CBD brands actively buying sponsorship/media has increased 145% since 2020, with more than 250 brands activating over the last 12 months. 

Even U.S. pro sports have begun to embrace the fledgling category, thanks to MLB’s groundbreaking decision in June 2022 allowing teams to sign CBD brands to sponsorship deals. That milestone was followed by the historic announcement in October 2022 that CBD brand Charlotte’s Web had inked a strategic, exclusive multi-year partnership with the league. And just earlier this month on April 7th, the Chicago Cubs announced a deal with MYND DRINKS that made the hemp-based beverage brand its Official CBD Partner–and the first CBD partner of an MLB club. 

CBDMD, 3Chi, and Charlotte’s Web tie for 1st atop the category by number of sponsorships,  with fourfive and Beam Organics rounding out the top five. 34% of all active brands in this category leverage media properties or endorsers and influencers via social media partnerships. 3Chi’s deal with Barstool Sports–which is promoted on Barstool’s KFC Radio, Spittin Chiclets, and Chicks in the Office podcasts–illustrates brand sponsors’ potential for cross-promotion within media companies: the podcasts promote the partnership, as do the host podcasters, influencers themselves who repost co-branded stories to their personal accounts–thus multiplying 3Chi’s visibility across multiple channels and growing its reach well beyond the parameters of the original dea making these assets even more desirable when inking a deal. 

Social posts are the most leveraged asset outside of property entitlements within this category, with 40% of deals including a social post. Four of the top five social posts by total engagement in the last 12 months were by athletes or influencers, with Beam Organics and Love Hemp each owning two of the five top posts. The top performer–a co-branded UFC and Love Hemp Instagram post partnership showcasing the matchups for a UFC card in London–garnered nearly 130K engagements. 

As the CBD category continues to evolve, will the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLS follow MLB’s lead and also greenlight CBD sponsors? And will Charlotte’s Web and MYND DRINKS look to dominate the category within America’s favorite pastime, or will more brands scramble to grab a piece of the action by partnering with other teams? Only time will tell. 

Sponsors Spotlight Sustainability with Innovative Environmental Activations

As Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, environmentally conscious individuals worldwide are continuing to raise awareness. It is worth examining how brands are taking action in the area of sustainability, which is gaining more attention as environmental responsibility becomes increasingly urgent.

More than 480 brands and over 330 properties have an Environmental Cause asset, with Construction & Industrial, Nonprofits, Charities & Associations, Utilities, Apparel & Accessories, and Auto topping the list of most active categories. Coca-Cola, adidas, Anheuser-Busch, Waste Management, Budweiser, and Ball Corporation lead the growing roster of brands (in that order) investing most in these assets. 

Coca-Cola has an Environmental Cause asset with more than 12 properties, and activates these sponsorships with branded recycling bins in stadiums including the American Airlines Center in Dallas and Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. In Spain, the beverage giant launched its #TogetherForRecycling campaign last September with Sevilla’s two biggest soccer rivals, Real Betis and Sevilla FC, partnering for the Nocturnal Race of Sevilla to promote environmental protection.

adidas partners with 11 properties in this type of asset. As part of the extension of its partnership with Arsenal FC to provide the team with playing and training kits, announced last September, the brand will also support Arsenal’s sustainability strategy by aiming to replace virgin polyester with recycled polyester in adidas products by 2024.

Anheuser-Busch collaborates with the New York Giants, New York Jets, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Padres, New England Patriots, and MLB on a range of environmental initiatives, including: 

  • “Break a Bat, Plant a Tree” with the Arizona Diamondbacks: Every time a Diamondbacks pitcher breaks a bat, Budweiser and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation makes a contribution to provide trees to the local community.
  • Recycle for a chance to win prizes with the Washington Nationals: Fans return their empty cans and bottles to one of A-B’s reverse vending machines to score a chance to win tickets to a future Nationals game. 

Environmental Cause assets engaged 3.4M users across all social media with 120 unique posts in the last 12 months. The most engaged post–on Instagram by football platform zujuGP and Cristiano Ronaldo, the world’s most followed person across all social media–racked up total engagement of 3M.

Earlier this week, Inter Miami CF launched the club’s adidas One Planet jersey with a striking photo of a woman wearing the shirt underwater alongside a hammerhead shark, to promote the positive impact of responsible plastic use on the world’s oceans. The team will wear the limited edition jersey on April 22nd in its matchup against the Houston Dynamo to celebrate Earth Day.

Pro sports venues are also expanding their focus on sustainability. Austin FC prioritized public transit accessibility when selecting the site for the team’s Q2 Stadium, and the city is using a $460M mobility bond to build a new train station adjacent to the property. The $25M McKalla Station will open ahead of the 2024 MLS season and is expected to increase the percentage of fans–currently just 8%–who take public transit to games. Meanwhile, the developers of the New York Islanders’ UBS Arena invested in a new $105M Long Island Rail Road stop–the first in almost 50 years and unveiled last October–to make both the venue and a nearby shopping district more accessible.